Be Natural: Linguistic Practices of Japanese Transgender Speakers

Hideko Abe

Hideko Abe, Professor of East Asian Studies at Colby College, is a leading researcher on Japanese lesbian and gay speech. Her research has provided comprehensive characteristics of the linguistic strategies employed by Japanese sexual minorities. She will present her latest research on Japanese transgender speakers. She is author of Queer Japanese: Gender and Sexual Identities through Linguistic Practices and is co-author of forthcoming Learning Japanese through Real Conversation.

Monday, October 22nd, 2018 @ 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm | SCHAPIRO HALL, 129

Continue Reading →

Gossip and Reputation in Early Medieval China

A Night Banquet by Huang Shen

The Shishuo xinyu, a medieval Chinese collection of anecdotes, seems to consist largely of gossipy accounts and a fascination with reputation. Indeed, the figures who stand at the heart of the collection are referred to (both in the text and in later periods) as mingshi or “gentlemen of reputation.” In this talk, Professor Chen will discuss some recent accounts of gossip as constitutive of society and social networks, and then turn to a reading of a selection of anecdotes that illustrate how gossip is framed and thematized in the collection.

Thursday, October 25th, 2018 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm | Griffin Hall, Room 7

Continue Reading →

Remembering the Great War

Remembering the Great War

Remembrance and Forgetting: The Great War in France
Susan McCready, University of Southern Alabama
October 10, Griffin 3, 6 PM

German Society and Politics during the First Total War, 1914 – 1918
Raffael Scheck, Colby College
October 23, Griffin 3, 6:30 PM

Continue Reading →

Flesh, Fur, Forgetting Creaturely Remains in de Bruyckere and Coetzee

The practice of taxidermy traditionally served as a means of remembering. Taxidermied animals were displayed as trophies to memorialize human-animal encounters and, in particular, the successful slaying of the beast. More recently, the art of taxidermy has been used to investigate the matter of memory itself, and the different ways that traumatic wounds are written upon or stored within flesh and fur. This is especially true of the taxidermied horses created by Belgian artist, Berlinde de Bruyckere, and visible in her collaboration with the author, J.M. Coetzee. My talk will focus on their collaboration entitled, “We Are All Flesh,” and the questions they raise about creaturely memory, forgetting and healing, evoked through their evocative interplay of words and skins.

Kari Weil is Professor of Letters at Wesleyan University. She has authored several books and essays on androgyny, literary representations of gender, animal otherness and human-animal relations. Her current book project, Horses and their Humans in Nineteenth-Century France: Mobility, Magnetism, Meat, is forthcoming from the University of Chicago.

Thursday, November 8th, 2018 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Schapiro Hall, 141

Continue Reading →

Power / frauen: Women and Power: German & Austrian film festival 2018

Power / frauen 2018

September 17, 24 and Oct. 1, 7 PM @ Images Cinema – Free Admission
❍ All films in German with English subtitles.

September 17
Licht / Mademoiselle Paradis (2017) by Barbara Albert

September 24
Toni Erdmann (2015) by Maren Ade

October 1
Hannah Arendt (2012) by Margarethe v. Trotta

Continue Reading →

Is Raskolnikov Real? Point of View in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment

Moscow Metro- Crime and Punishment

If literature offers models of the world, then the big problem it poses is that of ontology, the nature of reality. In Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky takes us into the head of his hero, and we see the world mostly through his eyes. What we see is the utterly recognizable, tangible cityscape of St. Petersburg, Russia, captured at a precise moment in the year 1865, with its slums, bridges, canals, taverns, smells and crowded, filthy flats. Even the weather corresponds to meteorological records of the time. Nowhere before in Russian literature had a writer so tangibly conveyed the physical experience of urban poverty, hunger, prostitution, and drunkenness. Seduced by this immersion in a particular time and place, readers might not notice an odd, disquieting feature of the novel: the dubious material grounding of its protagonist. This reading tracks Raskolnikov’s path leading up to the act of murder, posing the question: how, given the mass of potential witnesses, does he get away with it? Who sees him, and how do we know? The more deeply we probe into this question, the stranger and more fantastical does he, and his world become.

Friday, November 2 at 4 pm | Schapiro 241

Continue Reading →

A Tale of the Cold War from the Other Side

Jeff Lilley, ’86, will speak about how his education at Williams helped to put him on track to be an international correspondent in Russia at the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union and make writing an essential part of his professional life. He will tell the story behind the writing of his latest book Have the Mountains Fallen: Two Journeys of Loss and Redemption in the Cold War, which has roots in his first posting in Central Asia. The book follows the lives of a writer and a broadcaster from Soviet Kirgizia who fought against Soviet authoritarianism with words not weapons. It’s a story of the Cold War from the “other side.”

April 24, 4.15 pm | Schapiro 129

Continue Reading →

Graphic reportage: a history and particularities of the genre in Russia

Graphic reportage: a history and particularities of the genre in Russia

Russian graphic artist, activist, and journalist Victoria Lomasko will discuss the genres of “documentary comics” and “graphic reportage” by addressing the history of the genres and their development in Russia, how graphic stories can be used in social activism, journalistic aspects of graphic art, and the principles for combining verbal and visual elements.

April 26, 4:15 | Schapiro 129
Reception to follow talk

April 26 – May 11 | Other Russias
Schapiro Hallway

Continue Reading →

Establishing an Arab Modern Visual Culture in Hilmi al-Tuni’s illustrations and Abdulkader Arnaout’s Typographic Work

Yasmine Nachabe Taan

Yasmine Nachabe Taan, Associate Professor at the School of Architecture & Design at the Lebanese American University, will discuss the breadth and depth in Hilmi al-Tuni’s illustrations and Abdulkader Arnaout’s typographic work. She will first highlight Arnaout’s contribution to the development of a rich repertoire of Arabic typographic styles., and then discuss al-Tuni’s contribution to the development of a particular visual style reflective of an Egyptian popular culture. Both Arnaout and al-Tuni’s artwork had a great impact on the generation of artists and designers in Egypt, Syria and abroad.

April 4 at 6:30 | Schapiro 129

Continue Reading →

Winckelmann: Classical Art, Sexual Freedom, and the Prehistory of Gay Identity


Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768) rose from poverty in northern Germany to a resplendent life in Rome, as the major art historian of his time. His open courtship of other men as well as his sensational murder made his lifestyle a model for educated men who were sexually attracted to other men, much like Oscar Wilde a century later. These same erotic instincts were behind a willingness to challenge establish morality and imbue the human body with a nobility that paved the way for the emerging conception of the rights of man.

February 21 @ 4:15 | Hollander 241.

* Sponsored by the Department of German and Russian, and the Center for Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Art History and the Dively Committee.

Continue Reading →